Detroit is cutting the pensions of general retirees by 4.5 percent, erasing $7 billion of debt and promising to spend $1.7 billion to demolish scores of dead buildings, improve public safety and upgrade basic services, among other key steps.
Judge Steven Rhodes announced his decision from the bench, just seconds after entering court. He told the audience, including Mayor Mike Duggan in the front row, to be prepared for a long explanation.
The case concluded in just under 16 months, lightning speed by bankruptcy standards. The success was largely due to a series of deals between Detroit and major creditors, especially retirees who agreed to accept smaller pension checks after the judge said they had no protection under the Michigan Constitution.
Decades of mismanagement drove Detroit into the ground. If it can emerge at least as a place where the basic functions of government are performed - even if by Democrats - that would be a good thing. What has happened in Detroit is just sad.
NBC News declared Detroit "SAVED!" We might not quite be there yet, but hopefully they're at least on the right track.